10 Best Modern Story-Based Video Games

Regardless of whether they are playing for the artistic expression in the writing, the thrill of a surprising plot twist, or simply the achievement of completing a story as the motivation, gamers around the world often crave a story when they are playing, and they will not settle for anything but the best ones that are available. With that being said, here we have discussed the top 10 best modern story-based video games you can enjoy in 2022.

10 Best Modern Story-Based Video Games

Games as a storytelling medium have become increasingly important in today’s society, especially when one needs to self-isolate and keep oneself entertained for extended periods of time.

Persona 5 Royal (2020) (PlayStation)

The release of Persona 5 (aided by the Royal version) catapulted the Shin Megami Tensei spinoff into undeniable mainstream status.

Because of the striking art and aesthetics, catchy music, and clever plot, the Japanese Roleplaying Game has amassed a large following.

The protagonist is given the ability to join friends who have experienced similar traumas and enter the distorted minds of people who are villains for reasons that are often very personal.

Outside of the story, there are plenty of things to do in the game, but many of them lead back to the story, as each day is rigidly structured in terms of how many tasks you can complete.

Persona 5 Royal straddles the line between deeply serious and fantastical with effortless style, despite dealing with themes like depression, suicide, and seizing personal power.

God of War (2018) (PS/PC)

God of War had a fantastic trilogy that spanned the PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3 generations of consoles, but when news broke that the series would be shifting from Greek to Norse mythology, fans wondered if it would still be the same beloved franchise.

The wait paid off in the form of a seamless cinematic game that takes no breaks in showing Kratos’ origins, exploring both the Greek and Norse themes with which he is associated.

This is an action-adventure game with puzzle-solving, skill trees, and nods to RPG conventions that have been thoughtfully added and executed.

The story ends on an unexpectedly high note, leaving players eagerly anticipating a sequel to see how the story concludes, which will be released soon. Last week, the game received a solid PC port, and players are overjoyed.

Disco Elysium (2019) (Nintendo Switch/PS/XB/PC)

Disco Elysium is a game that gives players complete control over their protagonist’s fate in a variety of ways. The game plays with RPG conventions such as stat-building, but it prevents you from power-gaming your way to victory, and every choice matters in ways that feel fresh, fascinating, and even alarming.

In many ways, using the in-game ‘Thought Cabinet’ system allows you to tell your own story, and rather than simply pushing for the best possible outcome, you are encouraged to accept the highs and lows your character encounters along the way. This is a one-of-a-kind game with a fantastic art style that is now available on nearly all major platforms.

Detroit: Become Human (2018) (PS/PC)

Quantic Dream’s Detroit: Become Human is yet another excellent title. The developer is known for its immersive, choice-based storytelling, with branching narrative paths depending on what you do throughout the game.

You follow the stories of three different protagonists, Connor, Kara, and Markus, who were created to serve humans from various backgrounds in Detroit and who each find their own path to sentience.

The plot develops these androids to the point where their actions are so consequential, they could bring about great social change or invite disaster, and it is entirely up to you to decide how far this path goes.

Characters can die while the story continues, and the plot develops these androids to the point where their actions are so consequential, they could bring about great social change or invite disaster. Additionally, you can see what choices you made as well as what other players have made, which can make the experience more enjoyable for both streamers and their viewers by allowing others to comment on your choices.

Undertale (2015) (NS/PS/XB/PC)

Undertale was a hugely influential game that became a cultural phenomenon. It was a true success story for developer Toby Fox. On the surface, it appears to be a top-down RPG, but it quickly introduces interesting twists such as a bullet-hell battle system and puzzle-solving elements that can occasionally throw the player off.

The dialogue is witty, and the visual presentation is occasionally shabby, but there’s a lot of depth and nuance to how you can approach a playthrough beneath the surface.

Most famously, you can choose a pacifist path for yourself by cleverly conversing with enemies and ending combat with them, but there’s also something to be said for the iconic characters and memorable music.

How else can it be said if you never choose to explore a game for its depth and witness greatness as you did in this title? “You’re going to have a rough time.”

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015) (NS/PS/XB/PC)

The latest chapter in CD Projekt Red’s adaptation of the Witcher novels is an absolute AAA tour de force. Despite some technical issues at launch (what’s that like, CDPR? ), the game displayed far more polish and care in its design to balance out any flaws.

Whether it’s through large-scale, ongoing updates, such as ports to next-generation consoles, or by enacting bovine defense initiatives against players who try to take advantage of the game’s economy.

The game features all of the graphics and effects that one would expect from a large-scale open-world RPG set in a bleak, dark fantasy world populated by scavenging monsters.

While it’s understandable to jump right into the story of Geralt saving his adopted daughter Ciri from the ruthless Wild Hunt, or discovering how much land the kingdom of Nilfgaard conquers on the Continent, smaller goals can be just as rewarding.

Individual quests can be rewarding stories to experience, and the tragic story of the Bloody Baron, whose terrible personal choices lead to tragedy and regret, is no exception.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses (2019) NS

In the past, Fire Emblem has told some fantastic stories, but they’ve also had issues with predictable archetypes and tropes for their characters. While Fire Emblem Awakening in 2013 was the turn-based tactical RPG franchise’s saving grace, the polish put into creating Fódlan’s content in this game is readily apparent. While simmering tensions and years of conflicting interests come to a head, three main factions appear to be coexisting.

You are Byleth, a mysterious protagonist whose past is unknown, but you have been assigned to the Officers Academy at Garreg Mach as a teacher. Your students come from all over Fódlan and even outside of it, and they are living examples of the various cultures and attitudes that exist.

Whoever you choose to side with will invariably force you to fight others later on. The choices you make can result in anything from an empire seeking to change Fódlan’s status quo, a redemption arc for a disgraced noble seeking to restore glory to their homeland, or the defeat of an ancient, nefarious threat to the continent.

The game can be played for hundreds of hours, and the player can choose to experience stories in the form of character interactions and epilogues, or simply the plot itself. The Fire Emblem franchise was a critical success, with record sales and critical acclaim.

Yakuza: Like a Dragon (2020) (PS/XB/PC)

To say the least, Yakuza’s latest entry was a risk. Fans were unsure whether this bold outing would be fruitful after the long reign of previous central protagonist Kazuma Kiryu. While the game has flaws, critics and players alike can agree that it is a win and a positive step forward for the franchise.

Ichiban Kasuga, the game’s new protagonist, charms players with his enthusiasm and the story in which he solves the mystery of his attempted murder and becomes a role model for his friends and allies.

To set itself apart from the previous entries, the story moves the series from Kamuroch to Isezaki Ijincho. Kasuga’s interactions with rival gangs of Japanese, Korean, and Chinese origin known as the Ijin Three, as well as the powerful Omi Alliance, whose role in the story becomes more complicated as the story progresses, are chronicled in Like a Dragon.

There’s a lot to like about this game, not least the shift to a roleplaying format, which fits in perfectly with Kasuga’s possibly delusional penchant for turning everything around him into JRPG battle references, which is both amusing and meta.

But, as any Yakuza fan will tell you, if you haven’t already, you should start with the beginning.

Resident Evil VII: Biohazard (2017) (PS/XB/PC)

This game was exactly what Resident Evil required, with meticulous polish and several years of development time since the previous numbered entry, which indicated the series was losing touch with its roots – survival horror. The best Resident Evil stories are those in which the protagonist is thrown into a world in chaos or a derelict home beset by a menace they don’t understand.

Staying grounded in this fish-out-of-water approach was what propelled Resident Evil VII to the pinnacle of the franchise alongside the original two, particularly their remakes. What makes this one stand out is Ethan Winters, a nondescript protagonist who immediately immerses you in the experience, especially if you play in VR.

The Baker estate’s terror and dread would not have been possible if it had turned into another zombie shooter where you can inexplicably loot ammo from the dead and kill all the targets in order to progress. You needed to stay alive, and the supplies you had on hand seemed adequate.

Furthermore, the Baker family steals the show, particularly the father, Jack, as they chase you around the house while you try to figure out what drove them to their insane, near-immortal state. In the action-packed sequel, Ethan’s story is fleshed out more, but the grounded decision to make his character less of a focus in this title puts you right in his shoes.

Hades (2020) (NS/PS/XB/PC)

Supergiant Games’ Hades is a resounding success. The game’s numerous accolades and Game of the Year awards go far beyond the story, but it’s worth noting how good the story is, especially given that it’s a modern roguelike. The best, most organic way to tell a story in this genre, and even in games in general, is to have it happen while you’re playing the game.

Despite being based on Greek mythology, the game’s cast of characters is vibrant and expressive, and their interactions with protagonist Zagreus reveal various aspects of the Kafkaesque experience of being bound to the underworld.

More importantly, there isn’t just a good ending if you complete the game correctly every time. You’ll discover that beating ‘the game’ isn’t as simple as escaping one time, as your repeated attempts become more difficult and it feels futile to keep trying.

Every successful escape, on the other hand, reveals a more tragic backstory, as well as a path to reconciliation and even genuine positive change in the game world.

It’s so alluring that you can’t help but want to see the whole story, even if it appears on the surface that you’re just punishing yourself over and over. That’s a fantastic way to get a taste of a fantastic story.

This ends our list of the ten best modern story-driven video games, but as always, feel free to suggest other titles for inclusion. But these are all titles that are well worth playing now and in the future, as they push the medium forward toward potentially greater stories.

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